Bees and 'sang don't mix, leastways not in these hills. It's got something to do with sweetness and light and wildflower pollen set against dark rooty things, living in the deep forest dirt...

(click image for a much nicer and larger version of the sketch)

I've known Charles Vess for over twenty years now and in all that time, for one reason or another, we've never been able to do a collaboration beyond a few illustrated stories and chapbooks. But we finally got the opportunity when Bill Shaffer of Subterranean Press commissioned Seven Wild Sisters from us. We started planning it at Wiscon in May of 2000, and proceeded to do artistic and authorly sketches, and one of each of which is reproduced above. I finished the book in 2001, Charles V. is just finishing up the last of the interior art as I write this in March of 2002, and all I can say is that, from the pictures that show up in the fax machine every few days (which are a very welcome relief from the reams of junk ads the machine appears to attract), this is going to be my nicest looking book to date. I'm utterly enchanted with both how wonderful the art is - and how close he's come to realizing the pictures I had in my own head while writing it.

What's the book about? Seven sisters and their dawg. Ginseng and bees and faeries. Beech trees and hemlocks. An Apple Tree Man, an old aunt and the wild hills outside of Newford. Mysteries and danger and unexpected kindnesses...

Here's an abbreviated version of how the Subterranean Press release sheet described it:

Seven Wild Sisters will be a modern fairy tale about seven sisters growing up in backwoods hill country, and how one of them finds a mystery in the forest that both endangers and will save them all. It will feature a full-colour dustjacket, as well as full-page interior illustrations and page decorations.

There'll be two editions and you can find out more about both of them and Subterranean Press's other fine books by visiting them at

And you can see more Charles Vess's artwork by visiting the Green Man Press website.

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Copyright © 2002 by Charles de Lint. All rights reserved worldwide.
Most recent update: March 17, 2002
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